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Remembering the Sabbath

Sabbath time can be a revolutionary challenge to the violence of overwork, mindless accumulation, and the endless multiplication of desires, responsibilities, and accomplishments. Sabbath is a way of being in time where we remember who we are, remember what we know, and taste the gifts of spirit and eternity.–Wayne Muller in Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest

As preppers we seek sustainability on many levels. We try to live within our means and make our money last, grow our food in a way that replenishes the land so that it can support us for years to come, build and sew things that will hold up to time and hard use. But sometimes we forget what we need to sustain our own energy and clarity.  We get busy doing all the important things that need to be done and we forget to stop, rest, and remember the purpose of our work and the grace that upholds us. We forget our need for Sabbath time. I don’t just mean churchgoing; I mean stopping for rest, discernment, and delight.

In the short term, staying busy may seem desirable (people often greet each other with, “I’m so busy,” and sound proud of it) or necessary (the list of tasks is endless and growing and if we stop, it will get entirely out of control…). I’ve avoided stopping to rest for these and other reasons. Over and over I’ve learned the hard way that it doesn’t work. I get physically and mentally exhausted; eventually I am unable to work. Before I reach that point, I start to work and respond to the people around me shoddily, trying to push through the next task and make the next problem go away as quickly as possible. Worst of all, when I allow all my time and energy to be consumed by important tasks I leave no space and silence for God’s guidance–the subtle warning when I am losing sight of what matters most, the nudge to notice someone who needs my help, the renewing knowledge of God’s presence. Without this guidance, I can easily undermine the work I am trying to do.

Preppers are often advised to keep reserves of food, seeds, tools and skills. May we also remember to take Sabbath time, whenever and however we can fit it into our lives, to replenish our reserves of rest, clarity, and grace.

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Today in Christian History

May 20th

1530 – German reformer Martin Luther wrote in a letter: ‘God’s friendship is a bigger comfort than that of the whole world.’

1690 – Death of John Eliot, 86, colonial missionary to the American Indians of Maryland. Eliot arrived in America from England in 1631; by 1663 he had translated the entire Bible into the Algonquin Indian language.

1754 – Columbia University in New York City was chartered as King’s College, under sponsorship of the Episcopal Church. The institution adopted its present name in 1896.

1878 – William R. Featherstone died at the age of 32. A Canadian Methodist who spent his life in Montreal, it was Featherstone who authored the hymn, “My Jesus, I Love Thee.”

1937 – Following a lifelong call to establish a worldwide evangelistic ministry to children, missions pioneer Jesse Overholtzer, 59, founded Child Evangelism Fellowship, in Chicago.

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Source for Today in Christian History: www.studylight.org

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